The Ontario NDPs say they regret any confusion an advertisement mistook two PC caucus members may have caused. It comes after the PC government demanded an apology, calling the ad “racially insensitive.”
The Facebook advertisement reads, “Doug Ford and MPP Kaleed Rasheed have paid sick days.” However, Sheref Sabawy, not Rasheed, is the man pictured alongside Ford in the ad.
In the caption of the post, Sabawy is mentioned, “Our MPP Sheref Sabawy has paid sick days, and so does Doug Ford. Why have they voted to stop paid sick days for you? Add your name to join the NDP’s call for paid sick days today.”
The NDP’s have released an explanation, saying the party had produced a number of graphics with each PC MPP who voted against paid sick days in April.
“One of those graphics had a mismatched name and photo, and was taken down on April 30 as a result. We take responsibility for the mistake and regret any confusion it may have caused,” said NDP Provincial Director Lucy Watson.
NDP leader Andrea Horwath said she was not aware of the advertisement in question when asked earlier Wednesday.
She later said, “If there was any error, it was certainly not done with any malice or any kind of racial bias.”
“We would and should expect better from the Official Opposition. Andrea Horwath owes both Mr. Sabawy and Mr. Rasheed, and frankly Ontarians, an apology,” read the PC government’s statement urging an apology.